Okay, let me make one thing known. The title of this article is a sutte title. It’s a punch dialogue from Surya in the movie 7aam Arivu. “Veerathukum thiroghathukkum vitthiasam terinjiko.” On the same trope, priority and pastime, know the difference.
Yes, Malaysia le adikerangge. It has been so ever since independence. Innum adichikitte than irukangge. Naamelum adi vaangikitte than irukom. We are plagued with stumbling blocks at every turn – unemployment, penury and second class citizens treatment.
While we are almost powerless to change the system, what we can do, is, empower ourselves by equipping ourselves with knowledge, skills and help each other out to climb up economically and socially. But, we tend to confuse priorities with pastime and many of us tend to give more importance to pastime rather than getting our priorities right.
Take me for an example – I have to add funny memes in my articles just to get people to READ and SHARE my articles. Creating memes is earthly anything but easy but I have to incorporate them just to get some people to at least notice my articles. I am not complaining; I’m merely stating the truth.
Many of us on Facebook prefer to like memes like the first in line below:
Than this one:
Many Malaysian Indians are only on the lookout for fun and controversies. Simbu Nayantara veh kalti vittutu Hansika ku bracket pottutan. Siddharth Samantha veh madakittan. Memes in Facebook depicting Power Star asking,”Hansika/Samantha, yen kitte illathethu Simbu/Siddharth ku enna irukku?” Such posts get mass likes. Posts on Coursera or MIT publishing all its course material online for free and that one can take hundreds of college courses free of charge get overlooked.
A significant number of us, Malaysian Indians lack the hunger for knowledge what more seek knowledge. When I say knowledge, I don’t mean the knowledge we learn in school and college. I am talking about supplementary knowledge – outside academic syllabus. That type of cognizance would not be tested in drawn out exams – it is a matter of filling up your empty cup. Katrathu kai alavu, kallathathu kadal alavu. I would cite Kamal Hassan as an epitome here. Here is an excerpt of the actor speaking in IIT Mumbai. Please spend some time to watch this. PLEASE.
The results of messing priorities up is disastrous; we live in the information age. We cannot afford being ignorant. There are many of us who last read a book in school or college. We have lost the reading culture. My parents are avid readers. I took after them.
Nowadays, there is Astro Maharaja package. That is a big mistake. Mega Tamil Serials being aired almost 24/7. Athu pathaleh nu puthusa Chakravarthy package vereh. Velenggidum. I would blame commercialism and capitalism. But, in order for supply to manifest, the demand must be there. Our culture has become a cinematic culture. My mother often goes to one of our Indian neighbour’s house and she tells me that the Television in their house works overtime – it never rests. And, they have every Tamil Astro packages subscribed, from Thanggathirai to Vinmeen. They live in a rented house and last month they had electricity cut in their house because they couldn’t pay the bills. The old lady of the house seemingly expressed her grievance to my mother,”Astro illeh nah paithiyam pudicha maari irukku.” And, she also eggs up my mother to subscribe to Chakravarthy package. Rombe mukkiyam. The lady’s granddaughter got all Cs and Ds in UPSR and that doesn’t seem to affect her; the absence of the likes of Thendral, Vaani Raani, etc seems to bother her more. In my sister’s pugundha veedu household, joint family, she says that if the TV in their house has legs, or hands, it will either run away or hang itself because of the work overload. They too, watch a lot of Tamil entertainment on Astro. My sister always complains of this nature of her in-laws. This is the prime example of getting priorities all messed up.
The constitution of confusion over pastime and priorities
Sometimes I see the sad state here where pastime become priorities. This is especially evident in the response Indians here give to concerts organized by THR Raaga and talent shows organized by Astro. The likes of Aatam 100 Vagai, Magnum concert, Raagavin Superstar Yaar, Avatharam Aarambam, etc mendapat sambutan hebat giler. Some would travel from different states just to watch these shows. During my days of listening to THR Raaga, listeners would call up, saying that they are coming from a different state, with this many people with this particular transport. AR Rahman just did a concert here and it was a full house show. The tickets’ price is extortionate. Movies on big screens, sollave vena.
Compare the Indian fraternity attendance for such events to book fairs and other beneficial fairs like Investment Fair (even though its free), and free talks on life improvement and enhancement , educational events and one can see a stark difference. Indian attendance is comparatively low. Pastime has overridden priorities. Our people also liat want to donate to Tamil schools but will spend thousands to watch AR Rahman in action. I understand that it is your dabbu, kaasu and dhuttu and your passion for music but do show some passion to the betterment of our community too.
I am not saying that we should not entertain ourselves. Even I go for movies and listen to AR Rahman, Yuvan Shankar Raja, our mannin mainthargal, etc. But, I also make time to expand my knowledge on the basis of non compulsion. I do it on my own volition. My mother and father never once told me to go study. They inculcated the reading habit in me since I was a child, by action, not words. One is never too old to learn. Who said an old dog can’t learn new tricks? Manasu veccha mudiyum.
Seek knowledge and you shall seek truth – Bhagavad Gita.